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How to Answer Tricky Questions in an Interview

20th January 2015 by Grace Bullingham (Edited by Isabella Gelston)

How to Answer Tricky Questions in an Interview

It’s not just about being able to answer questions in an interview, it's how you answer them. You will always get unexpected questions, but fear not, the trick is not to feel anxious in finding the ‘correct’ answer. What sets good candidates apart is the way they deliver structured answers in a clear manner.

We give you 5 tricky interview questions and our ideas on how to answer them.

Why do you want this job?
This can often be the first question in an interview. Providing a sensible answer creates a great first impression. Ensure your response is prepared. Be confident and specific. It would be useful to structure your response; you could list 3 reasons why you believe to be a good fit for the role.

Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years’ time?
With this question, there is no need to be too specific. You do not need to provide the job title you hope to have attained by this time. It is much better to think about achievements rather than status. This question could give you an opportunity to show the interviewer that you know and can offer a prediction into where your field is going.

Why is there a gap in your work history?
Employers understand that people lose their jobs and it's not always easy to find a new one fast. The key is not to panic and to be honest. Do not lie about the time frame in a previous position. Chances are the interviewer will call your previous employer to verify your time there. Instead, think of what you achieved during your unemployment. Listing any activities, courses, freelance projects, or volunteer work will demonstrate that you utilised your time effectively and proactively.

What is your biggest weakness?
In an interview situation, keeping any flaws at bay is imperative. The way you can do this is by answering with a positive.  Strengths and weaknesses are like yin and yang, so another way to approach this question is to think about how you cope with the potential downside of your main strength. For example if you are a born leader, it is sometimes difficult for you to work in a team where you feel like you don’t have complete control, how do you deal with this?

How do you manage your time and prioritise tasks?
The interviewer will want you to provide your tactics and strategies for getting yourself organised. You must be prepared and able to clearly explain your preferred technique. Do you make a list, work out the most important tasks and do these first? If you are unclear on what’s urgent and what isn’t do you find out? The interviewer wants to know that you have common sense, that you are organised and that you can meet deadlines.


If you're looking for more interview advice, then look no further. Here's The Do’s & Don’ts of Asking Questions During an Interview

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